On November 18 1978, 913 people died in Jonestown, a small compound carved out of the jungles of Guyana.
Jim Jones became a Bible-thumping “faith healer,” using wet chicken livers as evidence of cancer which he removed by “divine powers.” Already the stench of criminal activity surrounded him, and his landlady referred to him as “a gangster who used the Bible instead of a gun.” Fortunately for Jones, the local police chief at the time was Dan Mitrione, a friend from childhood. Mitrione kept him from being arrested or run out of town. Mitrione would later enter the International Police Academy, a CIA front for training counterinsurgency and torture techniques.
Despite having few sources for known funds, Jones found enough money to travel with his wife and family to Brazil in 1961. Coincidentally, Mitrione was there as well, having advanced quickly in the IPA. Mitrione had honed his skills at torture and assassination by practicing on kidnapped beggars. Jones made regular trips to Belo Horizonte, site of CIA headquarters in Brazil — and Mitrione’s town of residence.
Apparently, this wasn’t the only curious intelligence link to Jones. He told some of his neighbors that he was involved in the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. The U.S. embassy provided Jones with transportation, groceries, and a large home. Considering his dear friendship to Mitrione and the funding of “ministries” in Latin America by the CIA, the theory that Jones was a U.S. intelligence asset makes quite a bit of sense.
Jones was rewarded by being put in charge of the city Housing Commission, and key followers were awarded jobs in the Welfare Department. The bulk of Jones’ flock came from the unemployed and dispossessed people found there. The cult preyed on the poor and helpless, going out of its way to enlist women, children and minorities. Many members were recruited directly from San Francisco mental hospitals. However, the move to San Francisco did little to quiet the controversy surrounding his “church,” and a 1977 expose put Jones on the defensive. He then moved his utopia to Guyana, aided once again by the U.S. Embassy. After receiving complaints lodged by relatives of cult members, Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown on November 18, 1978 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Congressman Ryan, a noted CIA critic, had authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which would have required the CIA to disclose to Congress — in advance — details of all covert operations. The State department offered Ryan no answers or assistance, despite numerous inquiries. He arrived with U.S. embassy official Richard Dwyer, as well as some journalists. Among the reporters was Tim Reiterman, who had covered the Patty Hearst story for the San Francisco Examiner.
In all likelihood, Ryan already suspected what was really going on at Jonestown. That was when all hell broke loose.
At the airstrip, Leo Ryan soon became the first congressman to die in the line of duty, along with four reporters. (The Hughes-Ryan Amendment was killed in Congress soon afterwards.) The assassins were described by witnesses as “glassy eyed,” “mechanically-walking zombies,” and “devoid of any emotion.” Dwyer and Reiterman were also shot. Soon after that, the mass slaughter began. A plausible explanation for the events that unfolded is that Jim Jones (or someone else) ordered the murders after Ryan’s unexpected visit threatened to expose what was happening. In the chaos that followed, a mass extermination was carried out.
Just who were the zombie assassins? Well, besides the 913 dead, 167 survivors returned from the camp. All news reports concede that there were at least 1100 individuals at the camp (and most reports place the number at 1200.) Who are these 200 or more people unaccounted for? The survivors report that there was a special all-white group that was well-armed, well-treated and free to exit the compound. These guards were never accounted for by any news reports.
Perhaps it is these same guards (assuming the total population was 1200) whom a congressional aide was referring to in an Associated Press quote which stated, “There are 120 white, brainwashed assassins out from Jonestown awaiting the trigger word to pick up their hit.” Of course, they may have had a little help. Over 300 U.S. Green Berets — trained for CIA covert assassinations — were in the area at the time. So were nearly 600 British Black Watch commandos, who were in Guyana conducting a “training exercise.”
Michael Prokes, a Jones aide, held a press conference and stated that the CIA and FBI were withholding an audiotape of the massacre. He also stated that he was an FBI informant. Right after that, he went to the restroom… and never left. His death was proclaimed a “suicide.” In Georgetown, several more Temple members were killed following the Guyana massacre. The man charged with the murders, Charles Beikman, was an early follower of Jones who had become an “adopted son.” Beikman was also a Green Beret.
As the massacre unfolded, Jones can be heard on a tape recording yelling, “Get Dwyer out of here!” Richard Dwyer was later found at the airstrip, methodically washing his hands. In 1968, Dwyer was listed in the publication Who’s Who in the CIA. When asked if the allegation was true, he replied, “No comment.”
Of course, Dwyer wasn’t the only link to the CIA in Guyana. Besides those previously mentioned, U.S. ambassador John Burke and another official named Richard McCoy were both heavily involved with the intelligence community. The U.S. embassy in Georgetown also housed the Georgetown CIA station. At the time, Guyana had a socialist government, and thus was a likely target for covert operations. Dan Webber, sent to Guyana after the massacre, was also with the CIA. Then we have the missing money that just “disappeared” after the slaughter. Conservative estimates place the amount at $26 million. Others place it at $2 billion. At the time, a major international money laundering operation was headquartered in Italy, involving the Vatican and a fascist quasi-Masonic lodge known as the P-2, or Propaganda Duo. (This operation probably led to the murder of Pope John Paul I — but that’s another conspiracy.) The CIA-linked P-2 had a major operation located in Panama, not too far from Jonestown.
One of the strangest CIA connections to Jonestown was the previously mentioned World Vision, an evangelical order which often fronts for the CIA. They performed espionage work for the CIA in Southeast Asia while Operation Phoenix (the murderous project that left 40,000 people dead) was in full effect. In Honduras, they maintained a presence at CIA contra recruiting camps in the war against the Sandinistas. In Lebanon, the fascist Phalange butchered Palestinians at World Vision’s camp. In Cuba, their refugee camps hosted numerous members of the anti-Castro terrorist group Alpha 66 of Bay of Pigs fame. After the Guyana massacre, World Vision developed a scheme to repopulate Jonestown with CIA-linked mercenaries from Laos. Laos, of course, was where the CIA was running it’s “secret war” during Vietnam, which for the most part was a smokescreen for a widespread opium trafficking operation.
One particularly important World Vision official was John Hinckley, Sr., an oil man, reputed CIA officer, and friend of George Bush. You may have heard of his son. Less than four months before Hinckley Jr. became known as Jodie Foster’s biggest fan, another member of the World Vision order, Mark Chapman, gunned down John Lennon in what may have been a practice run for the bigger hit on President Reagan. One of the policeman who found him was convinced that he was a mind-controlled assassin. Chapman was clutching a copy of the novel Catcher in the Rye, which was also owned by John Hinckley Jr. (The book was written by J.D. Salinger, who worked in military intelligence with Henry Kissinger during World War II.) Before going to trial, Chapman plead guilty after a voice in his head (which he attributed it to God) commanded him to do so.
Considering the history of World Vision and what went on previously in Guyana, it is possible that the real purpose behind repopulating Jonestown was to create another breeding ground for brainwashed zombies like Chapman and Hinckley.
Members of Jim Jones’ “church” were bound and gagged immediately after landing in Guyana and taken to the compound. They were pumped with drugs, which were available in vast amounts at Jonestown — enough to drug 200,000 people for more than a year. Among the drugs found there: Quaaludes, Valium, morphine, Demerol, Thorazine (a dangerous tranquilizer), sodium pentathol (a truth serum), chloral hydrate (a hypnotic chemical agent), thallium (which confuses thinking), and, of course, cyanide. Jonestown residents lived in cramped quarters and ate meager rations of often spoiled food. They were then forced to give 16 to 18 hours of slave labor per day. When they weren’t working, they were required to stay up day and night listening to Jim Jones lecture.
Among the charming punishments the flock endured were forced druggings, sensory deprivation in an underground box, physical torture, and public sexual rape and humiliation, not to mention your average ordinary beatings and verbal abuse. All of the drugs and environmental conditions forced upon Jonestown residents were also employed in the CIA’s notorious MKULTRA program, which was implemented to test and implement brainwashing and mind control techniques. A 1974 government report admitted that certain “target populations” were used, namely blacks, women, prisoners, the elderly, children, and inmates of psychiatric wards. The Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence, using the research of Strangelovian doctors Jose Delgado and Louis “Jolly” West, drew guinea pigs from the “target populations” to test drugs, implants, and psychosurgery techniques at an isolated military missile base in California. The dead at Jonestown were 90% women, 80% black, and included 276 children.
Congressman Ryan probably suspected that Jonestown was a front for sinister covert activity. In 1980, Ryan aide Joseph Holsinger received a paper entitled “The Penal Colony,” which explained that CIA MKULTRA operations did not terminate in 1973, as officially proclaimed, but instead continued in public hospitals, prisons, and religious cults which were used as fronts. Holsinger later stated at a San Francisco psychology forum on Jonestown that he believed the CIA worked with Jones to perform medical and mind control experiments at People’s Temple. If Congressman Ryan had not been killed — a big if — many skeletons in the CIA’s closet may have been exposed.
Michael Meiers, author of “Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?” stated: “The Jonestown experiment was conceived by Dr. Layton, staffed by Dr. Layton and financed by Dr. Layton. It was as much his project as it was Jim Jones’s.”
Layton was head of the Army’s Chemical Warfare Division.